Sunday, July 6, 2014

chronic shingles...

shingles (herpes zoster)

two weeks ago yesterday 
i noticed i was getting 
a new case of shingles 
(4th case since the first of the year)
on my chin.
as you know 
if you follow me,
i have chronic shingles 
(and have had since i was 14),
which occur more 
and more often 
the older i get.

at first 
this case was no different...
itchy, burny, fevery,
achy.

THEN

a few days later,
i noticed i had several 
shingle blisters on my belly!

ON.BOTH.SIDES.

i had already started taking 
valtrex,
which was drying up the ones
on my face.
however,
it was not touching the ones
spreading all over my stomach.

~@~

i called my doctor's office 
but could not get an appointment. 
then i called my dermatologist's office. 
unable to get in for nearly week,
i went ahead 
and made an appointment.

frustrated and miserable, 
i called a local naturopathic physician.
he squeezed me in that afternoon.

when i arrived,
he took me right back 
to an examining room.


doctor: (looking at my chin) 
what have you done 
to get so stressed?
me: i'm not here about the 
shingles on my face.
i'm here about these.

i raised my shirt.

doctor: oh, my God!
(he stared at my rash.)
i need to get my 
magnifying glasses.

(i got a little nervous.)

the doctor returned
wearing said glasses.
he put on a pair of 
latex gloves,
turned on the glasses'
light,
and studied 
my blisters.
as he backed away,
he took off his gloves
and 
removed his glasses.

doctor: well,
i have bad news...
you're too late;
i cannot do anything for you.
you have blisters,
which have already popped.
me: but they ARE shingles?
doctor: yes, they are definitely
shingles.

(i breathed a sigh of relief.)

the naturopath took 
time to talk to me 
about my general health.
he gave me pointers about
a vitamin regiment 
i should try to
so i might be able to keep
the shingles at bay.

vitamin.b.
and
chicken.liver.

~@~

for days
my shingles continued
to divide and multiply;
they spread up to just below
my neck
and down
to just above my belly button.

i shared the above picture
with the 2 d's
to see what they thought.
dana, the nurse,
asked if i was sure they were
shingles
as they had crossed 
my center line.
(honestly, i was still wondering 
the same thing.)
i told her my naturopath 
said they were. 

~@~

i thought my derm appointment
time would never get here.
but, finally,
it did.

the nurse called my name,
and i followed her back 
to an examining room.

nurse: how are you today,
dani.
me: actually, i feel terrible;
i'm miserable!
nurse: oh, no what's the matter?

i proceeded to tell her.

after i told her,
she handed me a gown
and told me she'd get my derm
and would soon return.

when the two came in,
i was gowned and waiting
in the examining chair.

derm: hi, dani, i hear you have a rash...

i.told.her.THE.story.

derm: let's raise your gown 
and have a look at it.

as i started raising my gown,
i heard my derm gasp
(oh, yes, she did),
which caused the nurse
to turn around and take notice.
she gasped too
(oh, yes, she did).

i looked quickly at the derm 
and turned toward her nurse.
me: i told you.
i wasn't kidding.
nurse: (still staring at my torso)
no, you weren't.

the derm asked me to tell
her the whole story again.
she asked the nurse to get her
what she needed to do
 viral and bacterial 
cultures.

after taking the cultures,
the derm asked her nurse 
to take pictures.
when she'd gotten all
the images she needed,
my derm left the room
and was gone for some time.

when she returned,
she told me she'd never
personally seen what i had
on my trunk.
she went on to tell me
the shingles virus
i had on my chin
had apparently settled in
a small heat rash i had
on my stomach...
and spread

in.ALL.directions

and
was still spreading!

she prescribed a very
aggressive treatment of
valacyclovir
and a topical antiviral
(which, thankfully, my dear pharmacist 
was able to compound for me!).

three days in,
i think i'm finally getting this
thing under control!

thank.You.GOD!

~@~

hopefully,
THIS will NEVER happen again!
hopefully,
the vitamin b complex
and weekly chicken liver meal 
will keep my shingles 
at bay.

hopefully,
if you are reading this
because you've happened
onto my blog because 
you, too, have chronic shingles
the vitamin b and chicken liver
thing will help
you too!

if it does,

SHARE!

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

1 comment:

Sally Crowe said...

OH my goodness, Dani, you've really had a time. I'm so sorry! This is probably a stupid question, but have you ever had the shingles shot. I don't know if it's just for elderly or not. But, my doc suggested I have it. When I got to the pharmacy where they give the shots, I was told that M/C didn't cover it; it was going to be close to $300.00

I hope and pray you're better soon. Love ya!
xoxo